For those wondering what I'm talking about, my 8-year-old, Alex, has developed a nasty "case" of anxiety. It started in the last 6 months or so and focuses itself primarily on weather but more generally on safety (feeling safe, being healthy, etc.). Leaving the house suddenly makes him feel unsafe and uneasy, especially if there is any chance of wind, precipitation, or heck, a change in barometric pressure of any kind (I exaggerated there a smidge.) I have seen this anxiousness surface in situations where people are sick or hurt (e.g. Daddy had surgery for a hernia a few weeks ago and Alex was uber concerned that Dad "was ok" and would "be ok" indefinitely). Of course this increased nervousness also increases his need to be attached to me in true Velcro Boy fashion. But the most frustrating part is that it manifests in the most unexpected places and times (e.g. on board a naval battleship for a Scout overnight that we've done twice before wherein Alex suddenly expressed a serious fear of small places and wasn't at ease unless he had a direct and well-memorized escape plan at all times).
|In the car traveling on a rainy day.|
I walk a very thin line. Every. Single. Day. I weigh the signs, the reactions, the underlying messages and the unspoken emotions. I try to always think about what the true reason for his outbursts of anger and jerkiness (which seem to be his favorite way to express his anxiety) might be. Never to assume his behavior is what it outwardly appears to be (for example, he's not REALLY mad at his brother for eating the last banana when the sky just darkened up and he may just be worried about the change in weather). His behaviors are usually out of left field, or don't make sense in the context of the situation. I know I'm not a professional and I have come to the realization that he needs one. I'm working on that.
I just wish other people could see my point of view and try to understand my position. I'm his Mom. I'm supposed to fix this. I'm supposed to make him feel safe and ease his fears. But with this ugly monster called Anxiety I simply can not seem to do that. At least not alone.